Monday, May 9, 2011

Hot Docs Awards, pt 2 - Audience & Filmmakers Award winners

After announcing most of the award winners at a ceremony on Friday, May 6, the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival announced the remaining award winners for the Audience & Filmmakers Awards.

They tallied the top ten films as voted by the Hot Docs audience and the number one film and winner of the Sundance Channel People's Choice Award is Linda Goldstein Knowlton's Somewhere Between. Knowlton herself adopted a baby girl from China and the film is a touching examination of cross-cultural adoption and the effects of China's one-child policy.

The winner of the Filmmakers Award as selected by attending filmmakers is
Michal Marczak's At the Edge of Russia.

PC Bang: The Rise of the Esports Hero from producer Erica Landrock was announced as the winner of the Shaw Media-Hot Docs Rendezvous Pitch Prize and a $5,000 cash prize.



Toronto, May 9, 2011 – Hot Docs has wrapped its most successful Festival to date with audience numbers reaching an estimated 151,000. The 11-day event featured 360 public screenings of 199 films on 16 screens across Toronto, three Rooftop Docs screenings, an internationally renowned conference and market for documentary professionals, and Docs for Schools, a phenomenally popular education program for youth. A total 168 screenings went rush, and the box office saw a 24 per cent increase in revenue. The Festival brought in over 200 filmmakers and special guest subjects from across Canada and around the world to present their films and take part in special post-screening Q&A sessions with audiences. Official film selections were chosen from a total 2146 films submitted to the Festival.

"Attendance at Hot Docs jumped by 11 per cent this year," says Hot Docs executive director, Chris McDonald. "Our audiences are clamouring for great docs, and our filmmakers are raving about the Festival's fantastic audiences. It is a perfect storm!"

After the final screening yesterday, votes were tallied for the Sundance Channel People's Choice Award. The winner is SOMEWHERE BETWEEN (D: Linda Goldstein Knowlton, USA), which follows four remarkable Chinese-born adoptees as they come of age between two cultures.

The top ten audience favourites as determined by audience vote are:
1.      SOMEWHERE BETWEEN (D: Linda Goldstein Knowlton, USA)
2.      GIVE UP TOMORROW (D: Michael Collins, USA/UK)
3.      HOW TO DIE IN OREGON (D: Peter D. Richardson, USA)
4.      WILD HORSE, WILD RIDE (D: Alex Dawson and Greg Gricus, USA)
5.      SENNA (D: Asif Kapadia, UK)
6.      BUCK (D: Cindy Meehl, USA)
7.      JIG (D: Sue Bourne, Scotland)
8.      ECO PIRATE: THE STORY OF PAUL WATSON (D: Trish Dolman, Canada)
9.      BEING ELMO: A PUPPETEER'S JOURNEY (D: Constance Marks, Philip Shane (Co-Director), USA)
10.  KORAN BY HEART (D: Greg Barker, USA)

Also during this year's Hot Docs, attending filmmakers with official selections in the 2011 Festival were invited to vote for their favourite film. The winner of the Filmmakers Award is AT THE EDGE OF RUSSIA (D: Michal Marczak, Poland).

A full week of industry programming was attended by 2376 delegates from around the world. Hot Docs mounted a roster of 10 conference sessions, 20 networking and market events, three kickstart panels for emerging filmmakers, 13 micro meetings, the Doc Summit, International Co-Production Day, and the Hot Docs Awards Presentation. The Hot Docs Forum, Hot Docs' key international co-financing market event, saw two days of brisk pitching, networking and deal-making. In total, 28 projects representing 12 countries were presented to a panel of over 120 key commissioning editors and other funders. Hot Docs also hosted nine official delegations from Brazil, China, France, Germany, Italy, the Nordic region, South Africa, the UK and USA.

In addition to the film and industry prizes presented over the course of the Festival, Hot Docs today announces that PC Bang: The Rise of the Esports Hero from producer Erica Landrock is the winner of the Shaw Media-Hot Docs Rendezvous Pitch Prize and recipient of a $5,000 cash prize courtesy of Shaw Media-Hot Docs Development Funds.

Doc for Schools, Hot Docs' education program that runs during the Festival and offers free in-theatre and in-school screenings of select Festival films, reached a record number of students in 2011. Close to 60,000 students participated in the program, including schools in Toronto and throughout Ontario.

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